Low-code offers small businesses an affordable and relatively easy-to-use way to build useful apps that help improve user and customer experiences.
For small businesses around the world, the pandemic has necessitated a digital shift in every aspect: how customers interact with the business, how employees contribute from home, and how efforts can be maximized when employees are inundated with anywhere through online applications. Companies wanting to make lasting and comprehensive changes to their business processes would do well to consider low-code, a way to build and maintain digital and web tools that require little coding knowledge.
One of the main advantages of low-code is to allow employees to create tools that they would use every day, ensuring that their needs are directly met and that nuances are not lost when translating these needs to an external supplier.
The use of low-code is expected to increase worldwide over the next few years. IDC estimates that low-code developers will see a CAGR of 40.4% from 2021 to 2025, more than three times the CAGR of the general developer population.
Here’s more information on what small businesses can gain from low-code and how it helps achieve three of the most important goals of today’s small businesses: improving customer experience (CX), maximizing contribution employees within a limited time frame and enable remote working capabilities. and how to start.
See also: Why Low Code Development Still Needs Some IT Oversight
Ensure a seamless customer experience
When customers can contact a brand across multiple devices and channels—making a purchase from their phone, sending a web bot for troubleshooting advice, and returning something in-store—a single bad experience can turn them off completely. A 2021 survey by Coveo found that 73% of customers will abandon a brand after three or fewer bad touches.
Careful attention to CX (i.e. ensuring brand voice and service levels translate into all facets of doing business) results in repeat business and high likelihood that customers recommend the company to their network – 53%, according to Coveo.
The first step to improving the customer experience is understanding precisely where things are breaking down and why; visibility is key to deploying cost-effective surgical solutions. Data reigns supreme as the necessary element for this to happen, but it’s not as simple as collecting a slew of backend metrics or spamming customers with surveys. Data must not only be understandable, but also actionable.
Key to these efforts is an easy-to-interpret dashboard where data can be seen by everyone and interpreted for everyone. Thanks to low-code, these dashboards can be created by almost any staff member in a small business and shared with the rest of the organization with just a few clicks. Data can be imported from a variety of sources and interpreted as a graph, table, numeric list, or any form that makes the most sense.
Low-code platforms also provide the ability to customize the look of these dashboards for easier prioritization. No need to provide constant updates either. The AI/ML capabilities of these platforms will suggest the most relevant form for the data provided, then automatically adjust the numbers when new data becomes available, ensuring that employees are always looking at the most up-to-date information.
Businesses can start strengthening their CX by establishing a cadence for reviewing data and suggesting adjustments to streamline processes. With low-code, little prep work is needed because the most up-to-date information is always available to everyone. Decide on changes and delegate the people who actually interact with customers to make them, saving time and confusion trying to collaborate across departments. It is important to allow sufficient time before reassessing CX – behavioral changes will not happen overnight.
Maximize employee contribution to business goals
Advancements in technology have made automation a viable option for completing routine tasks, such as emailing customers a form when they sign up for a newsletter or channeling survey information. to a central location. But while the results of automation require little effort from employees, getting the processes in place can feel like a big leap in technology.
This is not the case with low-code. With little or no IT knowledge, employees can establish automated processes that run efficiently, quickly, and without thinking from the cloud. These are also repeatable, which means that the initial efforts pay dividends down the line.
Nor do these employees need to start from scratch. Businesses running on low-code platforms come with a number of preloaded features to build from. For example, a basic tool for entering customer information can be easily extended to include fields specific to a particular company and easily take advantage of the latest artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to quickly process entries. .
The process begins with developing an understanding of workflows, especially if a company is new to automation and has not yet formalized its processes. Some platforms offer the ability to create visual representations of workflows, such as decision trees, to identify who is handling each step. These blueprint-like charts, like the coding functions of low-code platforms, work like drag-and-drop modules that can be rearranged and shared, and can be integrated into the approval process, alerting managers when a graphic is ready for their eyes. .
Once everyone has agreed on how the work should be carried out, managers will have the right level of visibility to adapt employee responsibilities, so that everything is done in a timely manner and without overloading. nobody.
Improve the work-from-home experience
To say remote and hybrid working is here to stay is an understatement – for many, working from home has become the norm. Staying at home isn’t much harder when the amount of work tools required remains low, but as internal systems develop, the number of hurdles an organization must jump to allow its remote workforce is also increasing.
In particular, applications that require storing a wealth of data and security outside of a physical server’s network can be inconsistent when everyone needs remote access.
The ease of low-code does not diminish its level of security. The ability to adhere to specific regulations, such as HIPAA or GDPR (the privacy law of the European Union), is standard with many low-code platforms and ensures that work can be carried out in all sectors and geographies without fear of violations or irregularities. The fact that this software resides in the cloud also saves businesses money on server purchases and maintenance.
To improve the work-from-home experience, low-code can be used to create a personalized dashboard that remote workers can visit each morning. This provides the ability to customize the apps they use most: chat, email, shared work drive, and everything business users need on a daily basis. These dashboards also offer great opportunities to automatically publish updated task lists and datasets, all enabled by low-code.
Another great use case for low-code is automating time-consuming but critical tasks that distract employees from their core responsibilities, things that might otherwise slip through the cracks, such as expense management. , clocks and progress tracking. These tasks are even more important when SMEs operate remotely when communication and processes are disrupted.
Benefits of low-code for small businesses
Most small businesses don’t have (or can’t afford) elaborate, versatile, multi-member IT teams, which makes the ability to build custom apps out of reach. Low-code is a game-changer by providing an affordable and relatively easy-to-use tool that creates scalable solutions. It lowers the barrier to creating useful applications that help improve customer and employee experiences, while making high-level business goals more achievable.
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